By John Burbridge email@example.com
CHARLES CITY — Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Barry has said that even when having a bad shooting night you can still make contributions to the scoring column by running the floor and filling lanes on fastbreaks.
Charles City 6-foot-7 junior Bradley Andrews had a hard time getting on track offensively against New Hampton, Tuesday night at Comet Gym. He had his share of rebounds and several blocked shots in the fourth quarter, but Andrews was limited to a single 3-point shot and a pair of free throws with virtually all but three-10ths of a second ticked off in regulation.
But because Andrews was running the floor, he was able to finish in the open court for buzzer-beating layup in a 73-71 Comet victory over the Chickasaws.
For the Comets, it was their second win in a row to get them to .500 overall (3-3) while claiming their first Northeast Iowa Conference victory in three tries.
The Chickasaws fell to 4-5 and 0-3.
With Charles City leading most of the second half, New Hampton senior Austin Flugum hit a 3-pointer after being assisted by Dillon Roberson, who had just pulled down an offensive rebound, to put the Chickasaws up 71-69 with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation.
On the ensuing Charles City possession, Jack Molstead hit a 14-footer to tie the game with 16.9 seconds remaining.
Though New Hampton was in the position to take the final shot, Tristan Sweitzer attempted a jumper with 6 seconds remaining that bounded out of the cylinder and was retrieved by Comet sophomore JJ Ritter, who kicked it out to Molstead, who then fired a bullet-pass from halfcourt to Andrews in perfect stride.
In addition to the game-winning assist, Molstead scored a game-high and personal season-best 35 points.
Ritter came off the bench to score 11 points — all in the third quarter helping the Comets take a 62-57 lead going into the fourth.
For Charles City, things started out a little differently against the Chickasaws. After being plagued with early deficits throughout the season, the Comets were able to jump out to a 16-8 lead in the first quarter.
But Sweitzer was locked in from beyond the 3-point arc, even hitting shots from deep in the corner, as he helped the Chickasaws lead by as many as 10 (35-25) in the second quarter.
Sweitzer had 30 points to lead New Hampton. Flugum and Drake Wemark each had 12 points.
Charles City finished the half with a mini-run capped by Marcus Cranshaw’s 35-footer at the buzzer which cut New Hampton’s lead to 1 (37-36).
Colton Slinger’s rebound basket gave Charles City a 44-41 lead midway through the third quarter.
The Comets later went up by 10 on Molstead’s steal and layup making the score 62-52 just before the fourth quarter.
The Comet boys will be back in action on Friday when they host Waverly-Shell Rock before the holiday break.
CHARLES CITY 73, NEW HAMPTON 71
Scoring By Quarters
NEW HAMPTON 27 10 20 14 — 71
CHARLES CITY 22 14 26 11 — 73
NEW HAMPTON — Austin Flugum 12, Conner Rochford 2, Tristan Sweitzer 30, Dillon Roberson 10, Drake Wemark 12, Noah Fenske 4.
CHARLES CITY — Jack Molstead 35, JJ Ritter 11, Marcus Cranshaw 8, Colton Slinger 8, Bradley Andrews 7, Tait Arndt 2, De’Ontaye Hoefer 2.